After a deflected goal we hung on against Newcastle to win all three points, but there’s still an air of disappointment about the game.
The Magpies were reduced to 10 men in the 16th minute and, since we were dominating play so efficiently, it looked as if we were going to run away with a landslide victory.
Instead, we failed to convert simple chances and didn’t do a great deal with the possession we created.
Petr Cech – 7
The goalkeeper barely had anything to do. Genuinely. I have no notes for him.
Hector Bellerin – 7
The right-back should have been given a penalty in the first half. However, despite the early disappointment, we went on to use his pace well and gave a solid performance.
Laurent Koscielny – 7
The Frenchman did a solid job covering at the back and ushering the ball out of play. Again, he didn’t have a massive amount to do.
Gabriel – 7
Another strong performance. The Brazilian put in some good blocks and made a vital headed clearance in the 81st minute.
Nacho Monreal – 7.5
The left-back’s confidence is growing by the game. His attacking play is smart and calculated, and his balls into the box are perfectly weighted and accurate.
Francis Coquelin – 7
The midfielder’s passing is gradually improving and, for once, he managed not to get wound up by Newcastle players kicking him about the pitch.
Santi Cazorla – 7.5
The little magician made some slick attacking moves and, as ever, great through balls. The Spaniard also had one or two decent shots, which is something he needs to continue to improve on.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5
Although he was making good runs, Newcastle kept finding a way to block him out. Despite this, he never gave up, chased the ball constantly and his shot led to the deflected own goal. In the 80th minute, he was even back defending, looking as if he was barely out of breath.
Aaron Ramsey – 7.5
Rambo was everywhere today and utterly instrumental in every attacking movement. The midfielder was unlucky not to score but the will was definitely there.
Alexis Sanchez – 7
The Chilean could have been more clinical but his fitness has almost returned to normal. It’s only a matter of time before his finishing does too.
Theo Walcott – 7
Within the second minute, the forward orchestrated a blistering break from the half way line thanks to a perfect pass. However, although his movement was great, his finishing was lacking and he missed an absolute sitter in the 32nd minute.
Olivier Giroud – 6
This match looked as if it was made for Giroud. However, although the target man drew a few fouls, he didn’t make any serious attempts on goal.
Mikel Arteta – 6
The Spaniard always manages to walk onto the pitch like he owns it. His confidence and professionalism always shines through. Today was no different.